Yesterday we got out to the fort for a romp. I pulled a fast one on Gimme. Once we were safely on the training area, I let her out and then slowly drove off to where I usually park. She cantered along just behind the car and well in sight of my side mirror. She has a lovely effortless canter at 12 mph. I thought a half mile might take the edge off, but when I stopped, she was even more excited - seems it only warmed her up. I'll probably do it again. It might be good for her to really stretch out like that from time to time over a nice distance. Afterward we walked 3.25 miles.
Today we joined Frank and Tor and walked 4.5 miles. I'll probably die, but Gimme is really enjoying the extra exercise. We basically parallel walked with them, keeping about 8 feet between the dogs. Frank assures me Tor wouldn't engage if she were less than friendly, but I think I want to continue with this approach and do a more gradual approach.
After we got home, I continued working on the house, etc. The painting and yard are done and the team did most of the touch up today. There is one last thing to be completed. I'm really happy with how it looks. I'm trying to get the front porch and steps scrubbed, so I can paint them. I'm leaving for my parents' Friday after work, so I'd like to paint the porch and stairs right before we leave. That'll give two full days to dry before Gimme and me return Sunday evening.
Tonight we met Susan for a nosework practice at the school district bus barn. Mary had hoped to come, but it was just too hot for Grafton. We've discovered he doesn't do well with searching in the heat and so she avoids it whenever possible. In classes when its warm, she has Joyce pair all his hides. He's a soft boy, so I think these are wise accomodations to maintain his interest and enthusiasm.
They had a row of busses outside the fence that we could get to for a vehicle search. I set blind hides for Susan and Tucker and she set them for me and Gimme. It was interesting to see how the dogs puzzled it through. Things I thought would be hard weren't and something I thought would be easy was tough. In hindsight, while the overall breeze blew in one direction, in between the busses it was completely different. Gimme is not convinced that the idea of "inaccessible" actually applies to her - she IS persistent. Then we did an exterior area search using some of the landscaping. Susan reset it for us. Both dogs did very well.
Lastly I set up what I thought would be a challenging converging odor puzzle, with two hides just three feet apart and under a hard plastic sign that was laying on the ground. I expected the breeze to blow under the sign and push one odor toward the other. What I expected was not reality. Both dogs got both hides very quickly and easily because the air didn't move under the sign the way I thought it would. The windward hide seemed to squirt odor out the side, instead of going straight to the other source. The downwind hide apparently poofed odor out when the dogs walked on the sign, making them go straight to it. While it didn't turn out to be the puzzle I expected, both dogs enjoyed it and I'm sure it does them good to have an easy hide from time to time.
BTW I'm also still going through all the "stuff" that has accumulated in the
carport and around the house - I'm calling that de-junkafying... Gimme thinks she has landed in doggie heaven. Many of these plastic tubs of stuff has extra dog toys (from Michael's agility competition days) and Gimme thinks they are primo. Mostly she hangs out nearby watching me unearth treasures (though many of the toys are going into another tote for washing). From time to time she pushes me out of the way, pokes her head in and comes out with a prize. She has found no less than four tennis ball, which she plays with until she manages to bat them under furniture. I stubbornly refuse to retrieve them for her. Retrieving is a dog's job...